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The news tonight is full of stories about the Christmas eve raid by the NZSAS at the headquarters of Afghan Tiger Group in Kabul in which two Afghan guards were killed, two wounded and dozens of Afghan civilians were terrified. It fills me with rage, and I ask what will it take for us to re-organise and re-engage in anti-war action?

The NZ media are busy saying that the raid was ‘botched’ and ‘ill-advised’ but that the NZSAS and International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) followed all their protocols.

The reality is that the details of this raid are highly contested by witnesses who were on the ground, including members of the Kabul police. These witnesses are saying that the security guards did not fire first on the soldiers; rather, the soldiers fired first, and murdered two men in cold blood by shooting them in the head.

Waitara Hikoi: Video and Photos


Attached are some more photos and a short video of the Hikoi by the Waitara community on 14th December 2010, when 150 people marched to the New Plymouth District Council in protest over the sewage situation in Waitara.

More written information about the protest can be found here.

Terror Raids Defendants Being Railroaded


UPDATE: After being contacted by NZ Crown Law Office, the ((i))ndymedia editorial collective has decided to edit this article slightly and hide some comments, as was done by Scoop a few days ago. This does not mean that we agree with the Crown that ((i))ndymedia was in breach of publishing the October 15th Solidarity media release.

The 18 defendants in the so-called "Terror Raids" trial are being railroaded. "We are being railroaded by the crown and judiciary and there is no way that we can get a fair trial. This is an egregious miscarriage of justice," says Valerie Morse, defendant in the case.

"The Crown has dragged out the case at every opportunity in order to wear down the defendants and force them into long and expensive legal battles in the hope that the public will forget about the case and ultimately to force the defendants to plead guilty to end this nightmare," said Ms Morse,

Links: October 15th Solidarity | The day the raids came (Book)

Lively Protest for Beneficiary Rights at Waitakere WINZ


Last Friday, December 3rd,  60 people from the  Waitemata branch of the Unite Union,  Auckland Action Against Poverty and their supporters, held a lively demonstration for beneficiaries' rights outside Waitakere WINZ. Friday 3rd December is International Disability Day.

At this time, disabled people's rights are very much under threat. WINZ has been steadily taking people with  long term illnesses and disabilities off the invalids benefit onto other work tested  benefits ,where they lose $50 per week. Sometimes work testing has been as ridiculous as asking a person who cannot use their hands to put a pen in their mouth, or asking a blind person to get a drivers licence.

Protests against the Transpacific Partnership Agreement


The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is being negotiated at the Sky City Casino in Auckland this week between NZ and 8 other countries, including the U.S. The US wants it to be completed by November 2011. The TPP is much more than a trade agreement. Trade is only a small part of it. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is concerned that it will stop future New Zealand governments from doing things that are in the interests of working people and most New Zealanders. Similar agreements the US has signed impose policies that New Zealand voters have repeatedly voted down and would oppose if they had the choice.

A noisy protest was held outside Sky City on Monday morning by trade unionists and community activists. A public meeting will take place on Tuesday 7th December starting at 6pm at St-Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland with Jane Kelsey speaking.

Links: TPP Watch | NZ Not For Sale | NZ Council of Trade Unions | Scoop Coverage

Solidarity with the Pike River Miners and their families


Friday's explosion at the Pike River Mine, and the unknown fate of the 29 miners still below ground, has been the catalyst for a number of emotions. Compassion and love, between members of the effected community; hope, for the families and friends of the workers; and anxiety, of that which is unknown. Our sympathies and thoughts go out to all of those fraught with such emotions, and hope that their loved ones can return to them soon.

Another emotion we cannot overlook is anger. Legitimate anger at an economic system that has seen such accidents occur again and again. Anger at an economic system which has seen generations of miners perish below the earth, simply to earn a living and get by in the world. Anger at an economic system which sees the pitfalls of profit fall squarely on the worker's shoulders, while the CEO's and shareholders sit in their plush offices and measure losses in terms of figures and dollars.

Links: Christchurch fundraiser | Workers Party statement | Socialist Aotearoa statement

There is nothing 'free' about free trade


Last night, Law Professor Jane Kelsey launched a new book, 'No ordinary deal: Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.' The book was launched by Prof Kelsey along with Lori Wallach from Global Trade watch and it presents a compelling case for concerted action against the trade deal (called the TPP) on labour, environmental, social justice and indigenous fronts.

The TPP negotiations are happening right now with a view towards being completed in November next year, in time for APEC. The TPP includes New Zealand, Australia, the US, Brunei, Chile, Peru, and Singapore. It may also include Japan, although the Japanese government is reticent about getting involved in the negotiations (see more about this below).

For New Zealand, the TPP does not hold any benefits whatsoever. New Zealand already has FTAs with all of the countries involved with the exception of the US. New Zealand is involved in these negotiations because Fonterra wants access to US markets to sell dairy. But anyone who knows anything about US politics, particularly about agricultural subsidies, will know that it will literally be a cold day in hell before the US opens dairy up to New Zealand.

Ngati Kahu forcibly removed from their own land



Police have forcibly removed Ngati Kahu activists from their whenua bringing an end to a land occupation on disputed land currently used by the Taipa Sailing Club, in the far north.

Police arrivedto the small coastal town at first light this morning and informed those occupying the site that they had the choice to remove themselves, or be removed. Many of the Ngati Kahu tangata remained defiant.

Police then moved in to arrest the occupiers. As they did so, they were met by shouts of protest from onlookers and songs of defiance from the occupiers. Those arrested were transported to the Kaitaia Police Station, 30 km south-west of Taipa.

World Dairy Summit's focus on sustainability set to be challenged



World Dairy Summit’s focus on sustainability set to be challenged.

Friday 5 November, for immediate release.  See below for invite to press conference on Monday 8th Nov.

The ‘Coalition Against the World Dairy Summit’ (CAWDS) will be exposing the true cost of current dairy practices with a series of demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience when industry leaders from around the world meet at Skycity next week in order to discuss growth and sustainability with regard to intensive dairy farming.

The coalition, made up of grassroots animal rights and climate change groups, formed to actively oppose the World Dairy Summit and raise public awareness about what is wrong with the corporate dairy model. As New Zealand’s largest and powerful dairy entity and platinum sponsor for the event, Fonterra will play a substantial role at the summit and therefore will also come under scrutiny.

Spokesperson for CAWDS, Claire Dann states “the dairy industry is responsible for animal rights abuses, increasing climate change, jeopardising human health and putting profit first before human and animal livelihoods. This is why when the industry leaders come together for the World Dairy Summit  we intend to send them a strong message letting them know that this intensive dairy model has no place in our futures.”

Locals Confront Gold Miners in Coromandel


Today in Opoutere, on the east coast of the Coromandel, about 40 locals and anti mining activists decended upon a drill rig operated by the American firm Newmont Gold.  Mining interests have previously sought to mine on conservation land throughout Aotearoa but backed off after substantial public pressure.  Though Section 4 land is off limits, Newmont intends to mine other areas of the Coromandel.  This could potentially be on other conservation land not protected by Section 4 legislation.

The protest was an impressive cross-section of locals, environmentalists young and old with a wide range of politics.  As we arrived to the drilling site, it was obvious that Newmont was aware of us and had the equipment shut down for the duration of the protest.  It was made clear to the workers that the protest was not aimed at them but the policies of Newmont Gold.  Various people made convincing cases against mining in Coromandel communities, urging workers to take a look at destructive Newmont operations in Peru and Indonesia, and much closer in Waihi.  It was also made clear that this will be the first of many actions against Newmont gold and communities would resist further drilling operations in the area.

Now standing around the shut down drill rig, people networked, strategized and considered the next steps...


Links |  Coromandel Watchdog  |  Newmont crimes in Peru  |